The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the National Park Service (NPS), is recruiting four Orchard Management Technicians to join our Research Associate Program to assist the horticulturist and natural resource staff at Capitol Reef National Park with orchard management and research, vineyard restorative and corrective pruning (principal focus of two 3-month positions), a park-wide composting program, and a nursery propagation project. Participants in this work will gain experience in approaches to and applied techniques for managing and assessing horticultural resources at the park. Further professional development opportunities include engaging with federal resource management staff and exposure to other invasive/vegetation management practices.
The orchards of the park consist of over 2,500 historically significant and heirloom fruit and nut trees that are managed as a cultural resource. Orchard management activities will consist of assisting staff with insect and pest monitoring, implementing integrated pest management strategies, cover crop management, vegetation surveys, and fruit monitoring for you-pick orchards. The technicians may also assist the park’s resource management staff with high-priority monitoring of vegetation and threatened and endangered species.
These positions require an interest in physically demanding work (long periods of physical labor, including walking, squatting, lifting, bending and carrying 30+ pounds) and hands-on learning. Field activities involve use of tools, such as shovels, pick mattocks, pruners, wire cutters, fencing pliers, post pounders, ladders, wheel barrows and miscellaneous other hand tools. Technicians will also be using power tools and machinery such as weed whips and wood chippers. Field work can be repetitive and physically challenging. Weather conditions: 3-month technicians will spend long periods outside in cold weather performing restorative and corrective pruning; 6-month technicians will encounter conditions varying widely from cold with precipitation in the spring to dry summer heat near 100° F. Capitol Reef is located in a semi-arid high-elevation Colorado plateau environment and is home to a number of venomous animals including spiders and snakes. Predators include coyote, bobcats and mountain lions. Challenging field conditions include gnats and biting flies during certain seasons. These positions are at least 80% field based.
Data collection and assessments require long periods of standing and walking on uneven terrain to collect data. Repetitive tasks require patience and attention to detail. The work also requires knowledge of botany and horticulture and the ability to apply knowledge to an analytical situation. Condition assessments require office time for data entry, requiring attention to detail and the ability to use Microsoft Office and ArcGIS.
The ideal technician will have an interest in working for the National Park Service or for other public lands agencies, be passionate about protecting historical resources, and enjoy or be interested in applied horticulture. The technicians will be advised by the park Horticulturist.
Health and dental benefits
Paid holidays and personal leave
Housing: The park will provide housing in a 5-6-bedroom dormitory. The technicians will have a private room with a shared bath, shared kitchen and common areas. The dormitory includes all appliances, coin-operated washer and dryer, some kitchen pots, pans and dishes. Internet service may be provided. Heat, electricity and water are included. A phone is available in each dorm and long distance calls can be made with a calling card. Housing is located approximately a 5-minute walk from the duty station.
Full time, 40 hours/week
Two 13-week positions: One during January-March 2018, one during April-June 2018
Two 26-week positions: March-September (flexible) 2018
Capitol Reef National Park is located near Torrey, UT. The location is remote. The nearest gas station is 10 miles away and the nearest grocery store is approximately 35 miles away. A personal vehicle is required for travel/transport outside of work. There is currently no cell service in housing or near the duty station and it is spotty in other locations. Reliable cellular service is usually only found when nearing Torrey. The intern should find living in a remote location desirable. Located in the heart of red rock country, Capitol Reef NP is filled with cliffs, canyons, domes and bridges. In addition to unique geological resources, the park also has a rich cultural history.
Bachelor’s degree – or coursework and relevant experience – in Horticulture, Botany, Biology, Ecology, Agronomy, Natural Resource Management, Entomology or other related field;
Previous experience with invasive species management, nursery and/or orchard management, vegetation monitoring and botanical assessments;
Experience in following established protocols for field data collection and management;
Proficiency using a digital camera, GPS and ArcGIS;
Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Access;
Experience with use of standard vegetation management and related hand and power tools;
Willingness to work to accomplish the goals and mission of the NPS and GBI;
Ability to work in harsh and rapidly changing environments, traverse uneven terrain and withstand strenuous exertion; and
Clean, valid, state-issued driver’s license with ability to safely operate an off-highway vehicle, as well as a 4WD pickup on paved and unpaved roads; applicant must have or be able to obtain an ATV Safety Institute ATV Rider’s Certificate.
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